Be Strong and Give Back Happiness... (BSaGBH)
Written in 2020: My name is Sarah Banholzer and until somewhat recently (about 3 years ago), you could say that I was a typical teenager - hanging out with my friends, playing volleyball, studying, working - but in November 2017, I was given some bad news, a bump on my forehead that doctors thought to be a cyst was actually lymphoma :( So, about a week later, I began another 2 years of chemotherapy - similar to what I did when I was 4 and had Leukemia. I started this organization (Be Strong & Give Back Happiness) several years ago to help the patients at Children's Hospital Oakland and really never thought that I would be back there as a patient again. I continue to want to give back for all of the incredible love and support that I received from so many during my life. This all started when I had an idea during the 2012 holiday season to sell crafts to buy Christmas gifts for the kids that have to be in Children's Hospital Oakland over Christmas.
With the generous support of so many wonderful people, we have been able to sell crafts, apparel and baked goods around the holidays and take over 1,000 gifts to Children's Hospital Oakland for the kids each Christmas!
We have also started an annual Swimathon and have raised over $70,000 for Children's Hospital Oakland! Check out of Swimathon Results page to see the programs that have been funded for the patients with these donations!
2022 UPDATE: So much has happened since I wrote the above....well, Covid:( but on the bright side, I graduated from high school and am now in my 2nd year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I am feeling great and having a blast (and studying too of course!).
Covid has put a damper on our annual Swimathon the past few years and that makes me super sad. I had hoped to be able to bring back the Swimathon this year, but it doesn't look like that is going to be able to happen so I now hope to be able to swim again in 2023!